Want a brief change of scene but last­ing changes in health? There are pro­grams to help

Los Angeles Times - - TRAVEL - BY VALLI HER­MAN

Eric Leib works in fast-paced ad­ver­tis­ing sales, which fre­quently has him court­ing clients over din­ner and drinks. ¶ It was tak­ing a toll. He had gained about 15 pounds; his body ached, and he felt lethar­gic. Un­able to get so­lu­tions from his med­i­cal doc­tor, he searched for away to reestab­lish a health­ful life­style. ¶ Like a grow­ing num­ber of trav­el­ers, he found it at a well­ness pro­gram. His four-day health and fit­ness retreat at a Carlsbad re­sort helped him achieve his goals by fo­cus­ing on feel­ing good as the end re­sult. ¶ “I wouldn’t say itwas a to­tally re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Leib said, “but at theendof it, I felt bet­ter than I nor­mally do com­ing back from va­ca­tion.” ¶ That may ex­plain why well­ness tourism has be­come a $494-bil­lion in­dus­try whose growth is ex­pected to con­tinue, ac­cord­ing to the Global Well­ness In­sti­tute, a non­profit ed­u­ca­tional foun­da­tion that pro­motes well­ness. ¶ More peo­ple are tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for their health, partly in re­ac­tion to aging, the in­crease in life­style dis­eases such as arthri­tis, obe­sity and de­pres­sion, and the fail­ure of con­ven­tional medicine to ad­dress cer­tain chronic con­di­tions, the in­sti­tute’s re­port said. ¶ Cou­ple those con­cerns with an op­por­tu­nity to es­cape the work a day world at an up­scale ho­tel, an­dit’s a match made in well­ness heaven. ¶ But, yousay, this trend isn’t new; spas and spa va­ca­tions have been in­creas­ing for years. Howis this dif­fer­ent? And what con­sti­tutes well---

ness travel?

Well­ness tourism en­com­passes hos­pi­tal­ity, health, beauty, medicine and fit­ness. It is travel in­tended to in­te­grate health­ful habits into the trip in both smal lways— or­ganic snacks in the mini bar — and big, such as new ho­tel brands cre­ated to sus­tain or im­prove ex­er­cise rou­tines, di­ets and even sleep.

Four out of five well­ness tourists in­te­grate health­ful ac­tiv­i­ties and habits into their trips to coun­ter­act in­ter­rupted rou­tines that af­fect sleep, diet and ex­er­cise. One in five takes trips with the in­ten­tion of mak­ing some form of health and well­ness the goal of the trip, said Beth McGroarty, re­search direc­tor at the Global Well­ness.

“Va­ca­tion time has be­come pre­cious, and peo­ple can’t af­ford to feel more stressed, sicker and tired from them,” McGroarty said. “Now you use the va­ca­tion to make your­self feel bet­ter.”

Orahe / Estelle Le­fébure


At the Le Gua­na­hani ho­tel on St. Barthélemy, for­mer model Estelle Le­fébure of­fers her Orahe method that in­cor­po­rates beauty, sports and culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences.

Bilt­more Ho­tel

COOKING The Be­nessere pro­gram at the Bilt­more Ho­tel in Coral Gables, Fla., can in­clude cooking classes.

Four Sea­sons Ho­tels & Re­sorts

HEALTH Four Sea­sons’ Cal­i­for­nia Health & Longevity In­sti­tute deals in science-based life­style re­ju­ve­na­tion.

Four Sea­sons Ho­tels & Re­sorts

HIK­ING In Vail, Colo., the Four Sea­sons of­fers well­ness ex­pe­ri­ences such as hik­ing with lla­mas and river raft­ing.

Lau­ren Mil­ner Photography

GOOD NU­TRI­TION is a fo­cus of pro­grams at Westin and other ho­tels.

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